Abiotic Resource Depletion — The progressive depletion of non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels, metals and minerals.
Acidification — A change in the pH of the ground or a body of water, caused primarily by emissions of polluting substances into the air, which in turn fall to the ground.
Soil that is subject to acidification loses its nutrients, causing serious damage to flora and fauna.
Carbon Footprint — A calculation that enables us to measure the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted during the entire lifecycle of a product.
It is expressed in equivalent kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2).
EPD — An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a verified, recorded document which provides transparent information on the lifecycle and environmental impact of a product.
EPD Process — This certifies that a company has developed an internal procedure which enables it to independently issue an EPD.
Eutrophication — Excessive growth of aquatic plant species due to excessive amounts of nutritional substances such as nitrogen, phosphorous and sulphur, causing changes to the ecosystem.
FSC — The FSC® brand identifies products containing wood from forests that have been responsibly managed in accordance with stringent environmental, social and economic standards.
Geca (Good Environment Choice Australia) — A certification for products which comply with the initiative’s requirements across the environmental, quality and social issues.
Global Warming — An increase in the temperature of the Earth, caused by increased levels of gases in the atmosphere which trap infrared radiation emitted by the surface of the Earth and the atmosphere.
Greenguard — Certifies products that comply with set emissions limits required to guarantee the quality of air in inside spaces.
ISO 14001 — An international standard setting out requirements for an environmental management system. This certification shows that a company monitors its environmental impacts and strives for constant improvement.
ISO 14040-44 — The international standards for the LCA. ISO 14040 sets out the principles and framework of the LCA, while ISO 14044 provides a detailed description of how the analysis works.
LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) — A tool used to analyse the environmental implications of a product throughout all the phases of its lifecycle, from the extraction of the raw materials through to processing, production, use and end of life (“cradle to grave”).
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) — A building certification system which allocates credits based on different parameters and assigns a different level of certification based on the credits obtained.
Recyclable Material — A material that can be diverted from the flow of waste, collected and processed in order to be used again as a raw material.
Photochemical Oxidation — A type of pollution which occurs on very sunny days, when the ultraviolet light present in sunlight triggers photochemical reactions which turn nitrogen oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) into substances that can be very harmful to human health, the environment and crops.
Post-industrial Recyclable Material — A material that is diverted from the flow of waste during an industrial process. This does not include re-processed, re-ground or surplus materials which can be recovered during the same process by which they were generated.
Reduction of the Ozone Layer — The chlorine contained in chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) tends to reacts with the ozone present at the highest layers of the atmosphere (ozonesphere), breaking it up and freeing molecular oxygen. This is a significant problem because the ozone layer serves as a filter against ultraviolet radiation.
SDGs — 17 universal, interconnected goals which make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The SDGs represent a global action plan encompassing 169 targets designed to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.
Sustainable Development — According to “Our Common Future”, also known as the Brundtland Report, sustainable development “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
Water Scarcity Footprint — This analyses available water remaining per unit of surface after human and aquatic ecosystem demands have been met. It therefore measures the potential for water to run out.